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Advice request: Solar Roof or regular new roof + solar?

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,482
424
auburn, ca
Yep. My neighbor had a signed contract for his new roof (not with Tesla) and solar. Last Fall when they were about to start they came to him and said their costs for lumber for the roof had gone up by $6,000, and they were willing to eat $2,000, but he needed to give them the $4,000 extra for the cost of the sheeting (he had wood singles). They said he could get someone else if wanted. My neighbor checked into it and verified they were giving him a deal so he went ahead.

Covid and Millenials getting to the age where they want to buy a house and get out of rentals have impact things in weird ways. We just went through the home buying process in Texas and we were seeing offers shoot from "only" $60,000 over asking to $120,000 over asking and all cash.
Seeing the same in Calif. We have family members trying to buy a house and even though they offer way over asking, they still get beat out by folks even willing to go more nuts over asking. If I were to put my house up for sale with the below view, what I would get would be nuts. But then where would I live with such a back yard? :)

turtle.jpg
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,102
3,171
Northern California
Some of the increases are definitely huge, though I think the point above about lumber not being a big part of the solar roof install is valid. However, the other materials costs are I am sure also up.

But, I think that for the solar roof, the biggest issue really is labor. Having personally seen how labor-intensive it is and seeing that Tesla is now explicitly itemizing labor and charging more for complex roofs tells me that was the big problem for them in the original pricing. No doubt materials costs exacerbated the pain on some of their under-priced contracts, but I feel like labor costs are the real driver.
No doubt labor is a factor. With so many people building now, roofers are in high demand.

But lumber is a factor if you need to put decking or replace the decking prior to installing a solar roof. The decking under the solar roof must be nearly pristine. If someone does not have or needs new decking that is expensive. With our home 2 years ago they estimated if they needed to replace the 3,000 sq feet of decking it would be $8,000. Given these latest price hikes that could be around $20,000 now.

 
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jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,102
3,171
Northern California
Seeing the same in Calif. We have family members trying to buy a house and even though they offer way over asking, they still get beat out by folks even willing to go more nuts over asking. If I were to put my house up for sale with the below view, what I would get would be nuts. But then where would I live with such a back yard? :)

View attachment 659750
Agreed. You have a great spot. I bet buyers would be beating a path to your door.

Especially now that technology means many can work from home instead of going into the office. With Starlink, Elon and SpaceX can give you 200+ Mbps internet anywhere! Why would someone live in a tiny condo in Silicon Valley when they could have your view out their window?
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,482
424
auburn, ca
Agreed. You have a great spot. I bet buyers would be beating a path to your door.

Especially now that technology means many can work from home instead of going into the office. With Starlink, Elon and SpaceX can give you 200+ Mbps internet anywhere! Why would someone live in a tiny condo in Silicon Valley when they could have your view out their window?
The homes on the lake are now going for about 800 bucks a sq foot, will all cash buyers from the Bay Area. My house could be made coded to 4600 sq feet, so my kids are happy the money they get when I die. Folks paying those prices still see it as a great deal since they got a lot more selling in the bay area in tiny homes, to larger homes on a lake.. Win win for everyone.

And in my case, since I can now say one is basically off grid 99% of the time, another great selling feature to a "green" person :)
 

wjgjr

Active Member
May 11, 2020
1,221
957
Silver Spring, MD
No doubt labor is a factor. With so many people building now, roofers are in high demand.

But lumber is a factor if you need to put decking or replace the decking prior to installing a solar roof. The decking under the solar roof must be nearly pristine. If someone does not have or needs new decking that is expensive. With our home 2 years ago they estimated if they needed to replace the 3,000 sq feet of decking it would be $8,000. Given these latest price hikes that could be around $20,000 now.

I agree it is a factor, but I'm just suggesting it's not the main factor - and it should have its own line item on the contract.

And, to be clear, my point about labor is not about demand for labor increasing wages. It is that they significantly underestimated the number of man-hours needed to install the roof. Any increase in wages would be on top of that.
 
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Apr 11, 2021
35
28
Socal
That is a pretty reasonable price. Mine was 2700 sq ft roof single story house, 8.2 kW system for $58k by itself (no PW or tax credits), then raised to $73k before I cancelled :)

Hope all goes well, I would keep second options just in case though..

Yes, there is a thread with some cancelled right before their installation date for not accepting new pricing terms.
Is it me or does the edit button disappear randomly on this forum? Wanted to correct myself, it was 38k for the roof alone, and 58k with two powerwalls and 93k total after price hike.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,482
424
auburn, ca
Is it me or does the edit button disappear randomly on this forum? Wanted to correct myself, it was 38k for the roof alone, and 58k with two powerwalls and 93k total after price hike.
Yep, I have seen the same thing, and have not idea why it is there sometimes and not others. But, IMO, important feature to have! Deleting posts also
 
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jimm01

Member
Apr 29, 2021
151
111
Devonshire NJ
Some of the increases are definitely huge, though I think the point above about lumber not being a big part of the solar roof install is valid. However, the other materials costs are I am sure also up.

But, I think that for the solar roof, the biggest issue really is labor. Having personally seen how labor-intensive it is and seeing that Tesla is now explicitly itemizing labor and charging more for complex roofs tells me that was the big problem for them in the original pricing. No doubt materials costs exacerbated the pain on some of their under-priced contracts, but I feel like labor costs are the real driver.
The thing about quoting the installation of any build materials is you want, and hope for, "no surprises". If I went to a job and saw signs of problems I would bid the job expecting at least the near worse. Otherwise, I would tell the homeowner, builder, remodeler, here's the price but: blah' blah, blah ..., and whatever contingency it was it would be written into the proposal.

As far as determining price I would apply a general rule based on: if the client was a returning customer or potentially more work; a homeowner; and/or if I really wanted/needed the work. If I was right I rode the elevator, otherwise it’s the shaft.

We priced material per square, foot, bit and piece, etc. based on its installation cost—time and material was built in. More material, more labor, more dollars. In most cases this would cover variation and complexity. By eyeing the job and applying standard practices and experience, and if the job within one or two standard deviations of the norm, we would be covered—if it’s in the tail? No, but I would hopefully see the complexity and apply the above general rule. The real problem is latent issues. You just try to senses these things based on past practice and hope you don’t get caught with your pants down. Like life you take the good with the bad and typically everything will average in your favor.

Key here are two things is how and whom is doing the estimating. Tesla, has a new product, not a lot of real world experience, and tried to scale delivery with IT. In my case no Tesla employee visited the jobsite until after tear-off and reseal. The job was quoted entirely with imagery.
 
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Jimmy209

Member
Apr 12, 2021
11
7
Ca
I placed an order for the roof back at the beginning of 2021, I was happy with the cost but after the price increase I was hesitant to accept the new design as the price increase to $20k extra. After waiting to see what tesla would do with open agreed upon contracts they rolled out with the free powerwall offer, after reviewing the new design I agreed to opt in as the cost was just shy of 10k extra from my original quote.

The second inspector came in yesterday to do a more through inspection of my roof and home. He said my roof was in good shape being my home was built in the middle of 2000's, no need to replace it at moment and he asked me why I was considering the solar roof instead of the panels.

My reason, besides getting a new roof and having a 25yr warranty I wanted to be being to offset the heat from my very typical shingle roofing, especially since its a two story home. He mentioned that the panels worked very similar and that they were more efficient in production than the solar roof.

This got me thinking, I do not need a roof now or in the near future. I called tesla to put a hold on the install since it was coming up this 19th. I am awaiting a quote and design for a panel install quote.

Saving cost i could add a second powerall and I am hoping I could get a larger system than the 7.78K system from the solar roof which would only offset 90% of my power usage.

I do like the looks of the solar roof, I think its a great alternative for folks who are in need of a roof and could benefit to getting the tesla roof. My other worry is that technology grows at a fast pace, I could possibly come back and revisit the solar roof in a couple of years.
 
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h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,482
424
auburn, ca
I placed an order for the roof back at the beginning of 2021, I was happy with the cost but after the price increase I was hesitant to accept the new design as the price increase to $20k extra. After waiting to see what tesla would do with open agreed upon contracts they rolled out with the free powerwall offer, after reviewing the new design I agreed to opt in as the cost was just shy of 10k extra from my original quote.

The second inspector came in yesterday to do a more through inspection of my roof and home. He said my roof was in good shape being my home was built in the middle of 2000's, no need to replace it at moment and he asked me why I was considering the solar roof instead of the panels.

My reason, besides getting a new roof and having a 25yr warranty I wanted to be being to offset the heat from my very typical shingle roofing, especially since its a two story home. He mentioned that the panels worked very similar and that they were more efficient in production than the solar roof.

This got me thinking, I do not need a roof now or in the near future. I called tesla to put a hold on the install since it was coming up this 19th. I am awaiting a quote and design for a panel install quote.

Saving cost i could add a second powerall and I am hoping I could get a larger system than the 7.78K system from the solar roof which would only offset 90% of my power usage.

I do like the looks of the solar roof, I think its a great alternative for folks who are in need of a roof and could benefit to getting the tesla roof. My other worry is that technology grows at a fast pace, I could possibly come back and revisit the solar roof in a couple of years.
I think you are making a smart logical decision. My only input is get as MUCH solar as you can. Adding afterwards might be impossible. And if you can get some batteries, they are great if you are a NEM customer. If not, I would get more solar before batteries. You can get a 500 buck generator to run the refrig if one wants
 

SaveOurPlanet

Member
Jan 6, 2018
237
140
San Francisco
I placed an order for the roof back at the beginning of 2021, I was happy with the cost but after the price increase I was hesitant to accept the new design as the price increase to $20k extra. After waiting to see what tesla would do with open agreed upon contracts they rolled out with the free powerwall offer, after reviewing the new design I agreed to opt in as the cost was just shy of 10k extra from my original quote.

The second inspector came in yesterday to do a more through inspection of my roof and home. He said my roof was in good shape being my home was built in the middle of 2000's, no need to replace it at moment and he asked me why I was considering the solar roof instead of the panels.

My reason, besides getting a new roof and having a 25yr warranty I wanted to be being to offset the heat from my very typical shingle roofing, especially since its a two story home. He mentioned that the panels worked very similar and that they were more efficient in production than the solar roof.

This got me thinking, I do not need a roof now or in the near future. I called tesla to put a hold on the install since it was coming up this 19th. I am awaiting a quote and design for a panel install quote.

Saving cost i could add a second powerall and I am hoping I could get a larger system than the 7.78K system from the solar roof which would only offset 90% of my power usage.

I do like the looks of the solar roof, I think its a great alternative for folks who are in need of a roof and could benefit to getting the tesla roof. My other worry is that technology grows at a fast pace, I could possibly come back and revisit the solar roof in a couple of years.

My personal opinion is that solar roof will always cost more and less efficient than panels but they sure look way better than panels, like 1000% times better. Wondering what inspector you are talking about, PG&E recommends a new roof before installing panels if your roof is older than 7 years old. I believe Asphalt is only good for 15 years, my roof still had a few years in them but I had no interest in taking down panels to get new roof a few years down the line. But you do what is right for you.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,482
424
auburn, ca
My personal opinion is that solar roof will always cost more and less efficient than panels but they sure look way better than panels, like 1000% times better. Wondering what inspector you are talking about, PG&E recommends a new roof before installing panels if your roof is older than 7 years old. I believe Asphalt is only good for 15 years, my roof still had a few years in them but I had no interest in taking down panels to get new roof a few years down the line. But you do what is right for you.
My new asphalt roof should be good pushing 50 years
 

jimm01

Member
Apr 29, 2021
151
111
Devonshire NJ
Depends on the weather. We just bought a home in Texas. Built 2004. Hailstorm has trashed the asphalt shingle roof. Luckily this was right before the offer was accepted and the current owner's insurance has to replace it prior to closing.
Hail storm? Hail storms in Texas and Oklahoma just amaze me. In NJ it would be like standing on a overbooked driving range. :) Best wishes.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,102
3,171
Northern California
Hail storm? Hail storms in Texas and Oklahoma just amaze me. In NJ it would be like standing on a overbooked driving range. :) Best wishes.
Yep. Never heard of hail totaling a car before, but I guess it's something that happens quite often in Texas and OK. The car ends up looking like someone beat it with a hammer.
 

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